Degree Name

MS in Fire Protection Engineering


College of Engineering


Frederick Mowrer and Christopher Pascual


This Fire Protection Engineering analysis was performed on Building 910 in Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA to examine the building’s fire safety and fire protection criteria which originally adhered to the 1985 Uniform Building Code. The object of this analysis is to determine the degree of compliance with the prescriptive codes in place today as well compliance with performance based analysis. For the prescriptive analysis consisted of evaluating the buildings occupancy classification, type of construction, egress design, fire detection and alarm systems, fire sprinkler system, Halon System, and structural fire protection are evaluated in terms of the life safety of the occupants. Each system was examined based on the requirements of the 2013 California Building Code and the 2013 California Fire Code, and the corresponding NFPA codes and standards. The sprinkler water demand was calculated and compared to the available supply to ensure adequacy of the water pressure and flow. The fire alarm system was analyzed for proper spacing of detection and adequate response of audio and visual notification appliances. The electrical demand of the alarm system was calculated to ensure the battery backup supply was sufficient for the required duration. The Halon system was evaluated to verify an adequate supply and concentration for total flooding as well as keeping in acceptable toxicity limits. The structural fire protection analysis confirmed proper materials and separation requirements existed in the building. In the performance based design analysis computer models were used to simulate egress in fire conditions. These models produced outputs that could be compared to pre-selected acceptable tenability limits for the occupants to determine if the Available Safe Egress Time (ASET) was longer than the Required Safe Egress Time (RSET). This outcome would signify a successful performance. In the first design fire scenario several scattered items located under a part of machinery related to a boiler ignites after being exposed to radiative heat from a nearby boiler. The fire is shielded from the high temperature ceiling sprinklers which are located at a height of 18 feet which never activate during the 10-minute fire model due to the combination of ceiling height, temperature ratings and the relatively small size of the fire. The boiler room doors were assumed to be left propped open enabling the passage of smoke into the exit corridor. The RSET was calculated to be 140 seconds while the ASET was 580 seconds. The tenability test was easily passed for the basement fire as the relatively few (50) basement occupants exit the building in less than half of the available time. In the second design fire scenario a work station with an excessive fire load is ignited when a space heater is left on for several hours. The ensuing fire size is potentially 1.5 MW, however the sprinklers activate beginning at 70 seconds at the heat release rate (HRR) of 195 kW and the fire does not grow any larger. The required safe egress time (RSET) is calculated to be 253 seconds, while the conditions remain tenable for at least 260 seconds in both directions of egress.





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